Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Maloof family has officially struck a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based group led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The Maloof family that owns the Sacramento Kings has reached a purchase agreement to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the franchise to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that NBA teams were formally notified Sunday night that the Kings have been valued at $525 million and that the parties have executed a purchase agreement, which still requires league approval.
Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee also reported the deal was done.
After weeks of private negotiations, the owners of the Sacramento Kings are on the verge of announcing that they're selling the team to a group that would move the Kings to Seattle.
The announcement could come as early as tomorrow morning. It follows two weeks of intense speculation and sets the stage for a climactic tug-of-war between Sacramento and Seattle over the team's future over the next few weeks.
A source close to the situation said Sunday evening that the Maloof family has reached agreement with a Seattle group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer.
A few weeks back, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal was close.
The Maloof family is finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that hopes to move the franchise to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The group is seeking to relocate the franchise to Seattle's KeyArena for the 2013-14 season.
The Seattle group's plans, with support of the NBA, is to play two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new Seattle arena, sources said.
The Kings franchise would fill the void left when the SuperSonics, who played in Seattle dating back to 1967-68, relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and took on the Thunder moniker. The new Seattle franchise would have the ability to regain the SuperSonics nickname and logo under the terms of the move to Oklahoma City.
The franchise is reportedly still expected to file for relocation to Seattle in advance of the NBA's March 1 deadline. Once approved, the team could begin play in Seattle next season. Wojnarowski reported Sunday that relocation approval should be a "formality."
Update (Monday): The NBA, Hansen and the Maloofs all issued statements confirming the deal.
"The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen. The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board's committee process for review."
"We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise," his statement read. "The sale is obviously subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and we look forward to working with the League in the coming months to consummate the transaction.
"While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades."
Maloof family statement.
"We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have had a great admiration for the fans and our team members," said Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof. "We would also like to thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter